Charles Moore and Matthew Parris, Spectator columnists both, represent two of the distinct philosophical and intellectual tradition that make up the Conservative party these days. Their columns today should give every Conservative pause for thought.
Matthew is surely right that ‘For every protest junkie in a tent outside St Paul’s yelling: “Down with global capitalism” there are a thousand middle-income householders in Bromley, Bletchley and Barrow, studying directors’ pay and muttering: “It just isn’t right.”’. While the nub of Charles’ column is contained in these two sentences: ‘“Abolish wealth,” cried one of their posters. Don’t the angry campers realise that the West’s bankers and politicians are managing it nicely without needing any extra help?’
Helping the market deliver increasing prosperity for the vast majority in the developed world is the most urgent challenge facing the centre-right at the moment. It will be hard to maintain popular support for capitalism if all the benefits are seen to accrue to a tiny sliver of the population.